The Academic Sermons (The Fathers of the Church, Mediaeval Continuation, Volume 11)

The Academic Sermons (The Fathers of the Church, Mediaeval Continuation, Volume 11)

THOMAS AQUINAS
Translated by MARK-ROBIN HOOGLAND
https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt32b35m
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  • Book Info
    The Academic Sermons (The Fathers of the Church, Mediaeval Continuation, Volume 11)
    Book Description:

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    eISBN: 978-0-8132-1809-0
    Subjects: Religion

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. PREFACE
    (pp. ix-x)
    MARK-ROBIN HOOGLAND
  4. ABBREVIATIONS
    (pp. xi-xii)
  5. SELECT BIBLIOGRAPHY
    (pp. xiii-xiv)
  6. INTRODUCTION
    (pp. 3-20)

    The philosophical and theological works of St. Thomas Aquinas are held in universal esteem, and there is also an increasing attention to his commentaries on Scripture and the role of Scripture in his theological works. Over the years, however, Thomas’s sermons have been widely neglected. The Latin texts of some of Thomas’s occasional academic sermons are not even published and so not available yet.¹

    It is remarkable that in the past hardly any attention has been given to these occasional academic sermons.² After all, Thomas was a Dominican, a member of the Ordo Praedicatorum, the Order of Preachers. Preaching was...

  7. THE ACADEMIC SERMONS
    • SERMON 01: VENIET DESIDERATUS
      (pp. 23-33)

      It is as Augustine says to Optatus: “Nobody is freed from the damnation that came through Adam but through faith in Jesus Christ.” This is sufficiently proven by the Apostle in Hebrews 11 [verse 6], where he shows that no one has ever been able to please God without faith. From this it follows that at all times after a lapse faith has been a necessity for recovery, for there is no other medicine for the weakness of original or actual sin.¹ And therefore all the saints always, from the beginning of the world, longed for and desired the coming...

    • SERMON 02: LAUDA ET LETARE
      (pp. 34-43)

      It is as St. Bernard says: “While I often think of the burning desire of the fathers who expected Christ’s coming, I feel shame in myself.” For someone who considers the sighs of those who were imploring, the desires of those who were expectant, and the joy of those who announced the coming of the Savior, can well become aware of his own tepidity in respect of the benefit already received that proceeds from his coming [cf. Rv 1.7, 3.16]. Isaiah implored this coming with a frequent sigh, in Is 16.1 [Vg]: “Send out the lamb, Lord, (the ruler of...

    • SERMON 03: ABJICIAMUS OPERA
      (pp. 44-45)

      "Let us throw off the works of the darkness and put on the arms of the light” [Rom 13.12]. The Apostle, teacher of the Christians and leader in faith and truth, formulates this in this time of the gracious coming of our Lord with these words, or in these words, for two reasons: in order to stir up (1) a liberating abhorrence of all worldly stains and vices as well as (2) an honorable love (amor) or pursuit of heavenly virtues. The first thing he does when he says: “Let us throw off the works of the darkness”; the second,...

    • SERMON 04: OSANNA FILIO DAVID
      (pp. 46-61)

      “Hosanna to the Son of David. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord” [Mt 21.9]. These words are spoken by the crowds praising Christ. These crowds clung to Christ. And so, please God, let us ask the Lord at the beginning to make us cling to him, so that we may understand his teaching.

      “Hosanna” [Mt 21.9], et cetera. In these words we can consider three things to the praise of our Savior: (1) first, the task of our Savior; (2) second, the privilege of his origin; and (3) third, the highest point of his power....

    • SERMON 05: ECCE REX TUUS
      (pp. 62-78)

      “Behold, your king comes unto you, mild” [Mt 21.5]. Many are the wonders of the divine works. Ps 139.14 says: “Wonderful are your works.” But no work of God is as wonderful as the coming of Christ in the flesh, and the reason is that in God’s other works God has pressed his image upon a creature [Col 1.16],² but in the work of the Incarnation God has pressed his very self upon a creature [cf. Jn 12.45], and he has united himself with the human nature in unity of person,³ or he has united our nature to himself.⁴ And...

    • SERMON 06: CELUM ET TERRA TRANSIBUNT
      (pp. 79-84)

      "Heaven and earth will pass” [Lk 21.33]. Dearest brethren, how great the delight, how great the pleasure, how great the sweetness that is in the heavenly words of wisdom! This is even obvious in the words of the natural philosopher,² who writes in Book 10 of Ethics about created knowledge: “All delights are at some point cut off. The greatest, however, is the delight that is in accordance with the operation of wisdom, and the most delightful operation is the one that is in accordance with the operation of wisdom.” Also the theological philosopher³ writes in Wis 7.8 that he...

    • SERMON 07: ECCE EGO MITTO
      (pp. 85-86)

      “Behold, I send my angel before your face” [Mt 11.10]. These words are taken from the last chapter of Malachi [3.1]. In these words three aspects of the gracious arrival of the Savior are described: (1) the marvelous estimation of God the Father, (2) the obliging ardor of the precursor, and (3) the marvelous kindness (benignitas) of the Savior. The first, where it says: “Behold, I send”; the second, where it says: “my angel”; the third, where it says: “before your face.”

      So note, regarding all these things, that, just as the Savior was sent,² so also the precursor was...

    • SERMON 08: PUER JESUS
      (pp. 87-107)

      "The boy jesus advanced in age and wisdom and in grace with God and the people” [Lk 2.52]. All the things together that the Lord has done or undergone in the flesh are salutary lessons and examples. Hence we read this in Jn 13.15: “I have given you an example, that whatever I have done you may do likewise.”² And because there is not any age from which the way of salvation is absent—and to the highest extent this applies to the years in which one comes to discernment—the adolescence of Christ is made an example for adolescents.³...

    • SERMON 09: EXIIT QUI SEMINAT
      (pp. 108-128)

      “A sower went out to sow his seed,” Lk 8.5. Because our sermon is about a spiritual sowing, let us call upon the one who sows, our Lord Jesus Christ, who makes trustworthy people servants of this sowing; let us call upon him, so that he may give me something to say, et cetera.

      “A sower went out,” et cetera. Holy Mother the Church is a vineyard and a field, for the spiritual fruits of the Church, which are the works of justice, are wine as well as bread.¹ Wine, because these fruits make joyful: “for wine makes joyful,” as...

    • SERMON 10: PETITE ET ACCIPIETIS
      (pp. 129-137)

      “Ask, and you will receive, so that your joy may be complete” [Jn 16.24]. St. Jerome says that the Lord’s Prayer ought to precede all our works, and the working of the graces ought to follow. Hence he says in a letter of his to Paula: “Pray the Lord’s Prayer at the beginning of any work of yours and press the sign of the Holy Cross upon your forehead.” Likewise: “Just as it does not befit a soldier to go to war without arms, so it does not befit a soldier of Christ to go to war against a demon...

    • SERMON 11: EMITTE SPIRITUM
      (pp. 138-158)

      “Send out your Spirit, and they will be created, and you will renew the face of the earth” [Ps 104.30]. On this Psalm. We must speak about him without whom no one can speak what is right and who can make or makes everyone speak abundantly. Indeed, without him we cannot correctly speak. So it is not surprising that it is said in Wis 9.17: “Who could have known the sense,” of God’s truth, “unless he had sent his Spirit from on high?” Without a sense of the truth no one could speak what is true.¹ Again, the Holy Spirit...

    • SERMON 12: SERAPHIM STABANT
      (pp. 159-170)

      Among all religions and sects the Christian faith rejoices in this privilege that it contains very much that surpasses the natural and the rational, that is, what is beyond reason, more than other religions. The reason for this is that in this faith some most excellent things have been promised which exceed not only our understanding, but even the very desire of a rational creature. Hence the Apostle says that “eye has not seen, and ear has not heard, neither did it come up in the heart of a man, (what God has prepared for those who love [diligo] him)”...

    • SERMON 13: HOMO QUIDAM FECIT CENAM MAGNAM
      (pp. 171-194)

      It seems that there is a difference between physical and spiritual pleasures, for physical pleasures are manifest to people who have surrendered to the senses, and the spiritual pleasures are hidden to them, whereas the latter are manifest to spiritual men. Hence it says in Rv 2.17: “To the one who gains the victory I shall give the hidden manna.”² And since this homily is about our spiritual refreshment, let us ask the generous distributor of this delight that he may give me something to say in praise, et cetera.

      “Someone made a (great) dinner” [Lk 14.16], et cetera. Just...

    • SERMON 14: ATTENDITE A FALSIS
      (pp. 195-213)

      The apostle demonstrates in the following words that there are two things that are contrary to one another. “The spirit,” he says, “desires (concupisco) against the flesh and the flesh against the spirit” [Gal 5.17]. And yet it happens that sin comes forth from both; sometimes sin comes forth from the weakness of the flesh, sometimes from the ignorance of the spirit.² Thus the Apostle says in 2 Cor 7.1: “Let us cleanse ourselves from every impurity of the flesh and of the spirit.” And just as the sin of the flesh comes forth from the weakness of the flesh...

    • SERMON 15: HOMO QUIDAM ERAT DIVES
      (pp. 214-232)

      “There was a rich man who had a steward; and he was discredited with him because he had squandered his goods” [Lk 16.1]. Every abundance of graces comes forth from the fullness of the divine treasure, which is hidden in the mystery of God’s riches; no one can know about it unless God reveals it.¹ Therefore, Moses asked for the revelation of it, saying: “Reveal to me, O Lord, your treasure, the fountain of living water” [Nm 20.6 (Vg); cf. Jn 7.38, Rv 21.6].² Hence, because the words [of Christ in the Gospel] focus our attention on the divine riches,...

    • SERMON 16: INVENI DAVID
      (pp. 233-241)

      The miracles of God cannot be scrutinized by man, as we read in Jb 37.5: “Who works great wonders and things that cannot be scrutinized.” Some of the miracles God performs in his saints. Augustine teaches this, saying that justifying man is more than creating,¹ because creation passes whereas justification remains [cf. Mt 24.35]. Thus “God is wondrous in his saints” [Ps 68.36]. We cannot scrutinize these wonders of God in his saints, unless he who is the scrutinizer of hearts and reins [cf. Ps 7.10] teaches us.² Therefore, let us take refuge with him in prayer and ask him...

    • SERMON 17: LUX ORTA
      (pp. 242-258)

      “A light has gone up for the just, and joy for the upright of heart” [Ps 97.11]. “Every very good endowment and every perfect gift from above is coming down from the Father of lights.”¹ This second quotation is from the Letter of James 1.17. Temporal things are a good (bonus) endowment. The things that belong to us naturally, like the body and the soul, are a better (melior) endowment. Eternal glory and the goods bestowed by grace are the best (optimus) endowment. Every very good (optimus) endowment—we understand this as grace—comes from the Father of lights. Grace...

    • SERMON 18: GERMINET TERRA
      (pp. 259-280)

      “Let the earth put forth the green plant that brings forth seed and the fruit-bearing tree that yields fruit” [Gn 1.11]. Isaiah says about Christ: “Who will tell of his generations?” [Is 53.8] The generation of Christ rests in a way on the generation of Mary—I speak here of Christ’s generation in time.² Hence the human understanding is not enough for telling the whole story of the generation of Mary.³ Let us, therefore, call upon the grace of the Holy Spirit, by which⁴ Mary is

      sanctified, and let us ask the Lord himself that he may give me something...

    • SERMON 19: BEATI QUI HABITANT
      (pp. 281-294)

      There is no one with a correct understanding who does not know that the community of God and angels and people is one community. The Apostle speaks of this in 2 Corinthians 1: “the faithful God by whom you are called into the community of his Son, our Lord Jesus Christ” [1 Cor 1.9]. And John 1 reads: “If we walk in the light, just as he also is in the light, we are in communion with one another” [1 Jn 1.7]. This is a community insofar as they share the same end, namely, happiness,¹ for God is happy, and...

    • SERMON 20: BEATA GENS
      (pp. 295-312)

      “Happy the nation whose lord is its God, the people whom he has chosen for his heritage” [Ps 33.12]. In many ways holy Mother the Church focuses her attention on challenging her sons and daughters to desire heavenly things [cf. Col 3.1]. And if you want to examine this correctly, you see that she is totally devoted to transforming us to desire heavenly things by showing contempt of earthly things. This is clear from the first Founder of the Church and our Savior¹ on, who, in his application to preaching and teaching, said, in Mt 3.2: “Repent,” in order to...

    • SERMON 21: BEATUS VIR
      (pp. 313-326)

      “Happy the man whose help is from you: he has set his heart on ascending while in the valley of tears, in the place which he has built” [Ps 83.6–7 (Vg)]. The proclaimed words show explicitly enough that St. Martin has arrived at the glory of highness through divine help. That help is ready for all people. And just as St. Martin needed divine help in order to arrive at the glory of highness, so we, too, need divine help so that we can arrive at glory.¹ Therefore, in accordance with the exhortation of the Apostle in Heb 4.16:...

  8. APPENDIX: “Behind the Names”
    (pp. 329-336)
  9. INDICES